The Long and Winding Road to Mastery-8
|Written by Administrator|
|Sunday, 31 July 2011|
Candidate master Peter Zhdanov's column at Pogonina.com
Try to find the continuation I chose here. To give you a tip and additionally motivate you: chess engines take a LOT of time (about depth 23) to discover the idea.
3…Qh5? 4.Re7 Rf7 (in the game Black got checkmated after Kh8??; 4…Kh6 5.Qd7 Qg6 6.Rf3 with decisive threats) 5.Rf7 Qf7 6.Qa8 Qa2 7.Qd8!+- Black's bishop is locked out of the game, while the White queen & rook will be able to harass the Black king.
3…Qg4?! 4.Re7 Kh8 5.Qd4 Kg8 6.Re3 Nc6!? 7.Qd7+/- with an unclear position and better chances for White. Black's pieces are discoordinated, the king is exposed.
3…Qc4! 4.Re7 Kg6 5.Qd7 Rf7 6.Rfe1 Raf8 7.Rf7 Rf7 8.Qd8! and Black can't avoid a perpetual check.
To pat myself on the shoulder once again, I would like to tell you that most of my friends rated between 2150 and 2450 FIDE described the position as "dead lost" or "significantly worse" for White and suggested moves like Bd3 or Bf3. Those who mentioned Bd4 referred to it as "gambling" and "trying to make something of a hopeless position". As you can see, it wasn't the case.
Unlike myself, my opponent prepared diligently for the game and surprised me with a rather rare line in the Dragon - 9.g4. After the game he asked my if I knew this idea and mentioned that he used WGM Pogonina's games while studying this line. Of course, I have analysed two interesting plans against this variation before, but over the board I couldn't trust my memory on this. It is widely known that it's better to spend some time and grasp the essence of the position in such cases, as opposed to trying to make the moves you "remember" and find yourself signing the scoresheet after a quick painful loss.
To take or not to take, that is the question. Based on experience, I knew that capturing the g5 pawn usually leads to disaster for Black. However, in this situation White has few pieces left. After carefully calculating long lines I decided to take a risk and grab the pawn. After all, how else am I supposed to beat weaker players in the Dragon? The problem is that in this opening there is a high chance of getting checkmated by a lower-rated, but better booked-up opponent, or end up in a worse endgame. The Dragon, an opening that was known as a risky and fighting system, is becoming a competition of who has the better memory.
A few moves later the following position has occurred. White has just played f5!
At home Houdini informed me that White doesn't have any real advantage after the cold-blooded Rc7! Such moves are beyond my level for now, as it is scary to leave g6 and e6 unguarded. I quickly played ef?, and after the natural Nd5 it became obvious that Black's position is lost...
Episode 2: Epic fail
Episode 3: Moscow IM-norm tournament: analysis
Episode 4: Moscow IM-norm tournament: analysis-2
Episode 5: Moscow IM-norm tournament: analysis-3
Episode 6: World Chess-Poker Championship: analysis-1
Episode 7: World Chess-Poker Championship: analysis-2
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 July 2011 )|
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